Announcement Mailing Lists

There are three primary announcement mailing lists to which all members of the department should subscribe:

Downtime (subscribe)

Announcements by CS Staff of network and computing infrastructure maintenance. Membership limited to CS account holders.

Talks (subscribe)

Announcements of CS Department talks, colloquia, seminars, FPOs, etc. Membership is not limited and includes faculty, graduate students, undergraduate students, industrial affiliates, and the general public. Postings are restricted. See below for details.

Building (subscribe)

Announcements for CS Building occupants. Posting topics include: building maintenance issues, Tea Room closures, left-over food, etc. Limited membership: those with offices in the CS Building are required to be on this list; faculty with joint appointment may request to be on the list; and those students who both typically occupy the building and receive financial support from the department may request to be on the list. Do not post announcements for public talks to the building list.

The downtime list is self-explanitory. The remainder of this page discusses the differences between talks and building.

Talks and Building Mailing Lists

Which lists should I subscribe to?

Everyone with an office in the department must be subscribed to the building list. Everyone in the department is encouraged to subscribe to the talks list. Other interested parties including alumni, affiliates, and undergraduates, are welcome to sign-up for the talks list. Advisors can "require" that their students subscribe to talks but will not enforce this.

Guidelines for posting to building

Anything that only the building occupants should see goes on building including:

  • emergency information
  • department only events (picnic, holiday party)
  • left-over food announcements
  • informal, non-public practice talks
  • tea room closures
  • announcements for the department that are not appropriate for a public forum (e.g., glasses left in the men's room).
  • reminders for talks in the building that are starting in a few minutes (if public, they should have been previously announced on talks)

Guidelines for posting to talks

Anything about CS hosted public talks should go on talks including:

  • CS hosted colloquia
  • pre-FPO and FPO
  • general exams

Note that, by default, subscribers are not able to post to the list. Initial postings by subscribers will be rejected with a note asking them to contact CS Staff to have them be enabled to post. Once enabled, all future postings from that subscriber will be processed as long as they come from a subscribed email address in either the or the domains. The vast majority of subscribers to talks never need to post to the list and this default has greatly reduced the amount of spam messages sent out on this public list.

Format Guidelines

  • Please use plain text (avoid HTML, large images, PDF files)
  • Please do not blindly forward -- make sure the content is appropriate for the list.  (The few minutes you take to produce a clear, concise message helps out the hundreds of people receiving the message.)

How not to post

Items should never be posted to both lists; nearly everyone on the building list will be on the talks list.

It's important not to post talks on the building list as it erodes our ability to maintain a private building list -- if people who really should be getting talk announcements can only get them on the private list, these people will have a strong argument to be on the private list. It's better if they simply don't want to be on the building list rather than us having to tell them they can't be on the list.

Similarly, posting items to talks that are only appropriate (or useful/timely) for the people in the building could project a poor image and cause people that we want to inform to leave the list. For example posting a reminder a day in advance of a talk could go to the talks list but a reminder that a talk is starting in 5 minutes should not go on the talks list (but could go on the building list).

When should I not use either list?

If the talk or event is not of interest to most of the people in the department, consider sending it to a more specific list (e.g., theory, graphics, systems, softball, csfac, csgrad). A reasonable exception is to make a broad announcement once or twice a year to the building or talks list (as appropriate) with details of the event and invite readers to join a more specific list for future messages.